This is the fourth part of a travelling workshop on Franco-flemish polyphony from the famous Occo Codex, linked with a historic chapel celebrating a eucharistic miracle in Amsterdam. Another source of material is the plain-chant office in honour of the Blessed Sacrament composed by Saint Thomas Aquinas. The aim of this cycle is to enable a group of cantors to perform in the future a comprehensive repertory in honour of the Blessed Sacrament both in Poland and in Amsterdam. Joining one session does not entail commitment to the whole project. The past sessions have taken place in Cracow (in cooperation with the Dominican Liturgical Centre Foundation – Fundacja Dominikański Ośrodek Liturgiczny) and in Poznań (in cooperation with the Saint Benedict Foundation, as part of the Katharsis festival).
Here is a fuller description by Marcel Pérès (concluding with practical infomation) :
The aim of the Occo Codex project is to teach cantors to read the 15th and 16th century polyphonic manuscripts in their original notation.
Mastery of this notation is essential to capture the nature and interior dynamics of flamboyant gothic period’s musical architecture. This notation system reveals also a numerous parameters relating to the conception, transmission and function of the musics of which it is a sign.
Developing a thorough knowledge of this notation requires time. To reach this aim several meetings are planned in 2019.
The Occo Codex is a manuscript dating from the beginning of the 16th century. It comes from the workshop of Petrus Alamiré, the most brilliant calligrapher of his time. It contains several treasures of 15th century Franco-flemish polyphony. Some of these are known and were composed by great cantors of the time – Isaac, Mouton, Josquin des Prez – other are of anonymous authorship.
The Occo Codex was created to be used in the Heilige Stede in Amsterdam, a church dedicated to the cult of the Blessed Sacrament. It was built in 14th century in the site of a miracle: a host thrown in the fire ascended over the flames and rested airborne for several days.
This miracle resonated widely and contributed to making Amsterdam an eminent religious centre. Today still, a large silent procession takes place in Amsterdam yearly to commemorate this wonder, in mid March. It starts at midnight and gathers about twelve thousand people.
When the group of cantors is ready, the plan is to join in this religious celebration, and revive in several Amsterdam churches the polyphonic treasures that had patiently waited, in the Occo Codex, for a rebirth.
During these meetings we will study, in the first year, the Missa Pange Lingua by Josquin Desprez as well as the Tantum ergo and the introit Cibavit, in the polyphonic version by an anonymous author.
At the same time we will also study the monodic office of the Blessed Sacrament composed by St. Thomas Aquinas. This office, composed shortly after the inauguration of the feast of Corpus Christi in 1264, constitutes a musical and theological source of the devotion of the Blessed Sacrament, which knew extraordinary artisctic developments in the 16th century. The Occo Codex is a major witness to this evolution.
Approximate schedule and programme:
Missa Pange Lingua of Josquin Desprez; Tantum ergo and introit Cibavit; monodic office of Corpus Christi by St. Thomas Aquinas.
Place: former Benedictine monastery (pl. Kościelny 5, 59-623 Lubomierz)
Session starts: Wednesday 3rd July 4 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.
Thursday – Saturday : 10 a.m. – 1 pm, 3.30 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. – 12.00., concert at 4.30 p.m.
Course fee: 350 zł or 85 euro
Accomodation in the monastery costs 35 zł or 8,50 euro per night. There are rooms for two or three people with access to a kitchen.
It is also possible to rent a room (ca. 5 minutes’ walk from the monastery) or to stay in one of the sourrounding farms.
Organisers: Brandsma association (brandsma.pl) and Dusza association.
Subscription to the association: free (donations welcome).
Information and registration:
+48 783 783 611